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April 22, 2014

11
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 49

About the hosts

About the host

Alexandra Petri

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost, a lighter take on the news and issues of the day, and she contributes to the Post editorial page. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Huffington Post, The Week, Newsweek.com, Businessweek.com, Collegehumor, and The Harvard Crimson. She has appeared on Jeopardy!, Showbiz Tonight and Canadian radio, and she has performed at Boston's Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. She would love to be on your TV show, radio show, Daily Show, HBO special, or to be an honored guest (or regular guest) at your Bar Mitzvah. She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)

About the topic

Join us next Tuesday to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @PostLive | @petridishes
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Also, Happy Tuesday! 

Q.

Drop the mic(rowave)

Are you still doing embarrassing situations? Here's something kinda girly (I think? Any guys have this problem?) that you might understand. Wanting to heat up some frozen packaged meal for lunch, but your coworkers keep hanging around in the breakroom chit-chatting and not giving you alone time where you don't have to be embarrassed about having frozen pre-packaged food instead of something you lovingly prepared for yourself out of carrot sticks and shame. Sometimes I'll loiter in the hallway pretending to check messages on my phone until they go away and then I have to sneak into the kitchen and throw my meal into the microwave as fast as possible before anyone sees. Am I the only one?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think you're not the only one, but I think your level of embarrassment about it is higher than most people. 

I microwave my Stouffer's Family-Sized Macaroni and Cheeses with pride. Then again, I am the person with her arm stuck inside the vending machine yelling at the beef jerky, so microwaving something not-home-cooked is probably a step up on the Adult Evolutionary Scale for me.

"Something you lovingly prepared for yourself out of carrot sticks and shame" is a great turn of phrase and sounds like a delicious casserole. 

– April 22, 2014 11:02 AM
Q.

Where Am I?

My gf has been living here (Alexandria) for over a year, knows her way around, has driven around the state and neighboring states. Yesterday, she realized that she couldn't find DC on a map of the states. I'm pretty sure she's from Ukraine, TN.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I usually can locate it because it has a handy line pointing to it labeling it DC. 

– April 22, 2014 11:03 AM
Q.

Greetings

Wow, to imagine that the Earth is 3,000 years old today. Oh, and I am one of those 1 in 4 who do not believe the Earth revolves the Sun The universe revolves the Earth, sllly. Just look at the sky, Oh, and, repeal Obamacare.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

It's turtles all the way down. 

– April 22, 2014 11:03 AM
Q.

A lot going on this week

what with Earth Day, Shakespeare's birthday, and the anniversary of the founding of Rome.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

In sooth!

I'm planning to go a little overbard, but with the big 450, you have to. Rome can wait. Look, Rome wasn't built in a day.

– April 22, 2014 11:06 AM
Q.

Aggressive Passive-Aggressiveness

I don't know how much time you have spent in the Midwest (probably holidays and summers), but I wondered if you exhibit signs of the peculiarly Midwestern trait of actually attacking someone for not putting you out; i.e. "Why didn't you tell me you were coming into town! I had some fresh raspberries and I could have made you a pie!"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Bob Levy, the daily columnist who appeared in the Style section when I was growing up, said the defining characteristics of a Midwesterner were to "apologize constantly and cook with lots of butter." (I think I'm mangling the quote a little, but that's me to a tee, or in a nutshell.)

– April 22, 2014 11:08 AM
Q.

Wow, to imagine that the Earth is 3,000 years old today.

Silly you. It's 6,9996 years old today. Just ask Bishop Ussher.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

At 9 AM! 

– April 22, 2014 11:08 AM
Q.

she realized that she couldn't find DC on a map of the states.

Obviously not, since DC is not a state!
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– April 22, 2014 11:10 AM
Q.

Competition!

There's going to be a new LGBT chat competing with you in a week or two. I'm guessing you'll be funnier.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I don't think of it as competition! If anyone's been coming here with queries about LGBT-related etiquette, that person has certainly kept quiet about it. We're different niches. I'm just excited any time there's more etiquette to go around! 

– April 22, 2014 11:11 AM
Q.

At 9 AM!

Does that take Daylight Saving Time into account?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

God did not make Daylight Saving Time. That was the Devil's handiwork.

– April 22, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

I also like the image of the Devil's handiwork because you have this picture of Satan sitting there knitting something very patiently, in maybe a craft circle or something.

Q.

I am very sorry

I am sorry you find yourself apologizing a lot. I am truly sorry. Here, I am from New England. I can make you an elderberry pie.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Elderberry! That's the kind of berry I respect the most! 

I'm sorry.

– April 22, 2014 11:15 AM
Q.

" If anyone's been coming here with queries about LGBT-related etiquette, that person has certainly kept quiet about it."

I ask every week! You always ignore me!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

JUST HOLD ON, SOMEONE IS COMING WHO CAN HELP!

– April 22, 2014 11:15 AM
Q.

Maps

Moscow had tourist maps that were designed to fool tourists. You would get lost to prevent a tourist takeover of Moscow. Now they have an app for that because it's the future. All we had were songs from TN and there's gold in the hills of Nashville country western music.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha, as though a tourist could take over anywhere. What are they going to do, build a fortress out of fanny packs and ask-for-directions-to-a-landmark-they-are-clearly-standing-in-front-of us into submission?

– April 22, 2014 11:18 AM
Q.

You probably know

If Rome wasn't built in a day, was it built by night? Or in a day and a half? There are probably other options, but I can't think of any.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, it wasn't built to the sound of music, like Thebes. Or built to "The Sound of Music" like [Insert Joke City Here].

– April 22, 2014 11:19 AM
Q.

Where is Washington?

I am looking at an official map. Where within the District of Columbia is the town of Washington? I can't find it anywhere. Help. I can't find Washington,
A.
Alexandra Petri :

You should talk to Other Chatter's girlfriend!

– April 22, 2014 11:20 AM
Q.

Elderberries need a lobbyist

I am easily confused. If one goes to sites like WebMD, or whatever it is called, it states that nothing other than a flu shot reduces the likelihood or duration of getting the flu. Yet, if you read about elderberries, it states that elderberries reduce the likelihood and duration of getting the flu. I believe elderberries deserve more respect. Maybe the elderberry growers need to get a lobbyist or something,
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I would love to see what Big Elderberry and the lobbying arm of elderberries looked like. I assume they would throw big events on Pi Day.

– April 22, 2014 11:22 AM
Q.

TIME

It is now and you are here. Everything else is moonshine.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

NO

TIME IS A FLAT CIRCLE

– April 22, 2014 11:22 AM
Q.

I don't think of it as competition

Neither do I. I just click back & forth between simultaneous chats.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

What did we do before tabbed browsing?

– April 22, 2014 11:23 AM
Q.

Tourist takeovers

If all the tourists are pirates this takeover might get off the ground or the water.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That sounds like it could degenerate into a Duck Boat Tour very quickly. 

– April 22, 2014 11:25 AM
Q.

Another kind of etiquette

When traveling in Moscow, is it customary to tip the KGB agent who follows you around your entire trip?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No, no, in Moscow, KGB agent tip you.

 

– April 22, 2014 11:26 AM
Q.

Maps

I came from a town so small, we sold tourists maps of our town which were one straight line and an arrow to the line with a caption reading "You are here. That's it."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Why were there tourists? Did you have Historic Baseball Things?

– April 22, 2014 11:29 AM
Q.

We'll fake the landing, but it will be expensive...

I like how you put the soundstage where the faked the moon landing on the moon. Well, that explains how NASA got its funding approved by Congress. "We'll fake the landing, but it will be really, really expensive…"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Right? It makes the most sense of any theory I have yet heard proposed!

– April 22, 2014 11:30 AM
Q.

My small town

People come to my town to see where nothing happened. We were so fortified during the Revolutionary War that the British did not attack. Granted, they made one of their biggest attack on the port across the river from us, but the left us alone. I think something happened in our town in 1934, but no one remembers what it was.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

One of my favorite things in all of the District is a plaque in Upper Georgetown near the library that says "On This Spite In 1897, Nothing Happened." I would like to lead a tour there. 

– April 22, 2014 11:37 AM
Q.

KGB agent tipping

Is that like tipping cows?
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– April 22, 2014 11:38 AM
Q.

We Don't Need To Give Up GPS...

...we just need iPads as big as a dining table you can fold up and put in your pocket.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And sometimes lose in the back of the car, just when you're about to get to that confusing turn-off onto I-80 -- or is it 76?

– April 22, 2014 11:41 AM
Q.

Another Spellcheck Victim?

"On This Spite" you said.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Dagnabbit. 

"Site." 

– April 22, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

Re: It's turtles all the way down

Not "turtles." Four elephants, but just one turtle.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well that seems like a terrible system. Turtles are obviously the One True Way. 

– April 22, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

Happy birthday, Charlie!

What are your plans for Charlotte Bronte's birthday. Me, I am going to avoid standing next to the mantle, as I hear that can kill you.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

At least Branwell died doing what he loved.

– April 22, 2014 11:44 AM
Q.

Today's History Lesson

The District of Columbia of Columbia once included the cities of Washington, Alexandria, and Georgetown. Alexandria retrocessed and Georgetown was absorbed by Washington.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This sounds very medical! 

"Alexandria retrocessed!"

"Well why are you standing there? Can you DO something about it." 

"Georgetown has been absorbed."

"DOC, YOU HAVE TO HELP ME!"

– April 22, 2014 11:45 AM
Q.

Tour de jour

When I worked at the Capitol, I made a sign for my door that read "No One Important". I later learned my door was added to the tour.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's great! Was it a plaque-style sign or just your run-of-the-mill paper sign?

– April 22, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

On this site

My favorite plaque in Alexandria is "On this site in 1781, George Washington stopped his horse and took a leak on the way to Mount Vernon."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Is this real? Because it belongs on the tour, if so.

– April 22, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

Me, I am going to avoid standing next to the mantle, as I hear that can kill you.

How can a cloak kill you? A mantel, now, that I'd be careful of.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Haven't you read Medea?

– April 22, 2014 11:53 AM
Q.

Cosmos

Are you watching? It's way better than I hoped. And I remember the original.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No, I'm reading! So many fun tips for ways to incorporate ice cubes into your personal life!

Oh, Cosmos. Er. No. I've been meaning to, though, although I've heard mixed things!

– April 22, 2014 11:53 AM
Q.

It was medical

"The doctors did all they could, yetAlexandria retrocessed on the operating table. Fortunately, Washington made it through the operation, yet it had to absorb Georgetown to survive.:"
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's a narrative behind which I can get.

– April 22, 2014 11:54 AM
Q.

Two for one

Answer: It was a home made sign. Comment: That Alexandria sign someone else posted is funny. I have no idea if it is real or not. Yet, there is (or used to be, I don''t know if it is still there) a sign on a tree in Key West that read on a certain date "Ernest Hemingham pissed on this tree."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I'd believe that. 

– April 22, 2014 11:55 AM
Q.

Haven't you read Medea?

Hm. I thought that was Deianira.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Both!

Medea's robe-dress-mantle gift to Jason's new bride catches fire; Deianara's is just poisoned, if memory serves. 

– April 22, 2014 11:59 AM
Q.

Breakroom malingerers

If it helps the first poster any, I'm a dude with the same hangup. Although I get more frustrated by people washing their Tupperware in the sink for what feels like hours when I just want to rinse a fork off or something.
A.
Alexandra Petri :
– April 22, 2014 11:59 AM
Q.

Historic sign needed

My request that they place a historic sign in Harrisburg, Pa, keeps being denied. Harrisburg played an important part in Presidential history. When Vice President Teddy Roosevelt was speaking in Buffalo, he learned that President William McKinley had been shot. He immediately left to return to Washington, pausing only for a bathroom break in Harrisburg. Now, I think that deserves a historic sign, don't you?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Certainly one way to update George Washington Slept Here. 

– April 22, 2014 12:00 PM
Q.

Washington City

If anyone really wants to know where the old Washington City used to be, it was juuuust about everything east of Rock Creek, west/north of the Anacostia River, and south of Florida Avenue. (That's why Florida Avenue used to be called Boundary Street!) Also for a while there around 1900 the District tried to get Georgetown to start calling itself "West Washington", but it didn't take.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

There are still boundary stones, I believe, marking its former borders! They make for a fun trek, if your idea of a fun trek is driving around and taking pictures of some large white rocks that mark an old boundary. 

– April 22, 2014 12:02 PM
Q.

Coffee Chemists

My peeve isn't in the breakroom - it's at Starbucks, where people turn into coffee chemists and spend all day adding a little more sugar, three kinds of milk, a whiff of nutmeg, six other secret ingredients and then start the process all over when it's not satisfactory. And all I want is a packet of sugar . . . Maybe they're alchemists and waiting for it to change to gold!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Hear, hear! I don't even want the sugar! All I want is a napkin and/or straw! Who are these master mixers?

– April 22, 2014 12:04 PM
Q.

Autocorrect strikes again...

"Ernest Hemingham pissed on this tree." Any relation to Ernest Hemingway, the novelist?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE MEAN

 

– April 22, 2014 12:04 PM
Q.

Go turtles, go turtles

A trending story is most people do not believe the big bang theory, Turtles are in the running!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Very, very slowly. 

– April 22, 2014 12:04 PM
Q.

All's well that wheel well...

It never ends. You can't make anything totally foolproof because you can't estimate what the fools might try.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

At best you can make things slightly fool-resistant, but even then. 

– April 22, 2014 12:06 PM
Q.

Medea's robe-dress-mantle gift to Jason's new bride catches fire; Deianara's is just poisoned, if memory serves.

Those heroes -- they never learn. If you're going to commit bigamy, don't do it with a princess because your wife is going to hear about it.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And especially don't tell your current lady that "it's cool because you are a foreigner and you can TOTALLY be my mistress later," cough, Jason, uncough. 

– April 22, 2014 12:07 PM
Q.

"Georgetown has been absorbed."

Resistance is feudal.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Resistance is part of an organized system of serfs, vassals, and lords offering protection! 

 

– April 22, 2014 12:09 PM
Q.

"Fool resistant"

The real problem is, as soon as you make something foolproof, nature comes up with a new model fool.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Durn you, Steve Jobs. 

– April 22, 2014 12:10 PM
Q.

Maybe he was a big ham

If autocorrect corrects Hemmingway to Hemmingham, who in history was Hemmingham?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

He wrote For Ham The Bell Tolls, To Ham and Ham Not, and A Moveable Feast (didn't even have to change that one!)

– April 22, 2014 12:15 PM
Q.

Wild thought

Was it Oscar Wilde who stated he is against bigamy, as that is two wives too many?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."

I hear it attributed to him but I'm not sure. 

– April 22, 2014 12:16 PM
Q.

what's virginia's secret?

Virginia has never managed to absorb its cities. They are independent entities. In Maryland, however, all the cities and towns are subservient to the counties. It's a hopeless situation; they can't get away.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

It's the feudalism.

– April 22, 2014 12:16 PM
Q.

Hemmingham

I think the true author of the works you cited was Bacon, not Hemmingham.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

And on that note, I think we should call it a day. Happy Earth Day! Keep reading the Compost, and feel free but unobliged to join the beleaguered few following me on Twitter!

– April 22, 2014 12:18 PM
Q.

 

A.
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